Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today made the following remarks regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) failure to regulate perchlorate, a toxic component of rocket fuel that contaminates sites in at least 35 states:

Senator Boxer said: "Once again on a Friday, when nobody is paying attention, the Bush administration announces a policy that will harm the American people. The Bush EPA's failure to set a standard for perchlorate, a dangerous contaminant found in drinking water, is outrageous and I will do everything in my power to reverse it. Perchlorate contamination endangers the health of our families, especially pregnant women and children, and to simply allow it to remain in our drinking water is immoral."

Perchlorate is found in the drinking water supplies of up to 16.6 million Americans, according to EPA. However, other independent researchers have estimated that 20 million or more Americans are exposed to the toxin, which particularly threatens pregnant women, infants and children.

In July, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed two measures to protect the American people from exposure to perchlorate:

· S. 24, the Perchlorate Monitoring and Right to Know Act requires that the EPA resume testing of drinking water for perchlorate, and that the results of those tests be disclosed to the public.

· S. 150, the Protecting Pregnant Women and Children from Perchlorate Act requires the EPA to promptly set a standard for perchlorate in drinking water that protects pregnant women and children.

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